The Fall season is here and is in full swing! Not only is autumn unquestionably the best season, but it is also home to my favorite holiday!
That’s right! The nasty summer heat has been traded for nice cool breezes and changing leaves. What is there not to love about October? Not to mention Halloween! The day you are actually allowed, and even encouraged, to dress up like a weirdo and throw candy in your face. I know many people make the argument that Halloween is a holiday more for kids and not a real holiday, but I call total crap on that. Honestly it has only gotten better as I have gotten older. Now I can go buy my own candy! Screw going door to door and working for it!
One thing that has always confused me, even as a kid going ‘trick or treating’, were the little bite size candies, or ‘fun’ size candies. Such as the little milky-ways or snickers. My little Hungarian brain was immediately insulted by such tiny candies. I came from a land were you made things in bulk! Don’t waste my time with your petite chocolate covered shavings! Where were the candy bars?
Of course I never made a big deal about it because, tiny or not, free candy is free candy. The thing that really confused me was that everyone else didn’t seem to share my frustration. Don’t get me wrong, it was an event when someone actually got a full sized candy bar. An event that we all celebrated by trying to steal it when the owner wasn’t looking, but other wise everyone was pretty contented with the size bars they did have.
This still confuses me even years later. If anything this strange contentment has even turned to celebration! I remember seeing in high school people even wearing ‘fun-size’ hoodies during that fall. What is this madness? “Why are we celebrating getting ripped off?” I thought.
“Maybe they are just settling. They knew that they will never get that full sized bar and they are just embracing circumstance.” I decided. Which was totally it, but it did make thing of something recently.
It reminded me of back when we were all kids on Halloween night. Getting dressed up in the costume you have been looking forward to wearing in public for the past four weeks. (Even though you had been wearing the costume just about every day at home up till that point, but this time your parents are letting you wear it outside! In front of the neighbors!) All the while salivating over the candy you will earn tonight with your friends. You knew what houses to hit and what ones to avoid. You had this down to a science.
Above it all, you were just flat out excited about it being the greatest day of the year, Halloween. Sure you wanted to make maximum profits in the candy department, but if anything you were just jazzed that you got to do, what you got to do. It was just the fact that you got to hang out with your friends late at night and eat a bunch of sugar, despite it’s pathetic size.
It was the little things that made it awesome.
I feel like we could learn something from our young selves here. As adults we feel we always have to be so concerned about the big picture, we often forget about all the little things around us at any moment. The people you and I interact with everyday.
For those of you who may not know, I am not a kick-ass rock star all around the clock. During the day I am a delivery driver for a deli, and like everyone else in the world who has to has to hold down a minimum – wage job to support themselves, I hate it. It is certainly not the worst job I have had, by far, but it is still a crappy minimum – wage job.
Because of this, I had to come to terms with something. That this is just my lot in life right now. This, hopefully, won’t always be my reality, but it is what I have to work with right now. So I made a decision. I will make the best of this situation as I can.
One of the goals that I have set for myself in life is to leave this world a little bit better. To help and inspire others through my art and my experiences. So, in relation with the deli, I asked myself, why wait till I am a rock-star to change lives? Why not start now, with what I have?
So everyday I try to bring my best attitude to my job and believe me, I am not saying this to brag. I have my bad days. Days I may, or may not, have told my manager he is an idiot, but that is besides the point. It’s not like I am a unique case. No one else wants willingly wants to work at some cruddy chain deli. So why not try to make our time there a little better by just being nice to each other, even in small ways?
When I went into work the other day, I found my direct supervisor slouched over a computer monitor. I said hi to her and she turned around. Her eyes were blood shot and baggy. I asked her if she was alright and she responded with a “not really”.
I asked what was wrong and she told me that her friend had gotten in a serious car wreck the prior night and was unresponsive in the hospital. My supervisor was at her bed side all night and wasn’t able to get any sleep.
I asked if there was anything I could do to help. She shook her head and responded “Just don’t fuck up today”. You know, that’s fair enough.
I was then sent out on my first delivery and a different manager requested that I went by the store afterwords to pick up some produce. My first thought was why didn’t we make a proper stock list the prior day, but that is besides the point.
After the delivery I went to the store as asked, and picked up the damn, super special, ‘organic’ avocados we use. On the way to the check out though, I spotted some dark chocolate on sale and thought of my supervisor. ‘Well, I mean chocolate always makes me feel better’ I thought and took a bar to check out.
When I got back to the store I took a piece of receipt paper and wrote her name it. Followed by that it was from her ‘favorite’ driver. Then placed the chocolate next to her register while she was away. Only to be immediately afterwords whisked away to prep for another delivery.
At this point I was on the other side of the store filling up an empty plastic gallon with iced tea (Because it doesn’t matter if it is getting cold, we are in the south damn it, and we need our cold tea!) and my mind was else where. All of a sudden I see my supervisor in the corner of my eye. I turned around to face her and saw tears in her eyes. I immediately expected something tragic, that maybe her friend had made a turn for the worst, but that wasn’t it at all. She thanked me and gave me a big bear hug. She said that, that chocolate was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for her.
I didn’t think it when I bought it, but this cheap chocolate that I just thought would be a nice surprise, ended up meaning the world to her.
Even I was shown a similar kindness this week, on a delivery no less!
This particular day had been a busy one to say the least, and one of the many tickets we had that day belong to a group of office employees who had all ordered individual sandwiches. This particular order fell into my charge to deliver. Normally I try to make a point to look through the delivery bag to double check the packers job, but in this case I had to just get rolling due to the delivery already being half an hour late.
You can see where this is going can’t ya?
I got to the delivery location and, thankfully, was able to find the suite number without to much problem. I enter the room and found a group of middle aged women sat around a large table setting, seemingly in a conference. I attempted to be desecrate so that I wouldn’t disturb them, but that went right out the window when one of them yelled “Lunch is here!”
About that discretion thing.
How these sort of individual deliveries typically work is that the individuals order is bagged with their name written on it. That bag is then placed inside a larger bag with the other orders for my carrying convince. So what ended up happening, was that I went through my delivery bag and call the name that I would see on the individual bags. When I called the name, the person would come up to claim their meal. All of them ended up being fine, except for the last two orders I ended up handing out. One was missing a desert and the other was completely crushed under the weight of all the other items in the bag.
Not only did this mean that I had to go back to the store to replace the missing or damaged items, but it also meant a refund. Which means after all the effort, no tip for me. I was trying not to get to distressed about it, but it was defiantly irritating to say the least. Thankfully the women were fairly understanding, and were willing to wait for me to return with new food.
After going back to a restaurant full of irritated people who were stressed over how late this order has been, I return back to the delivery location. I am exhausted by this point because I had been driving for nearly eight hours straight and had not had a thing to eat all day. I didn’t care about the money at this point. I just wanted to be done with the day.
I relocate the suite location and once again, try to discreetly enter, only to once again, to have to spot light shown on me. “He’s back!” The same woman shouted.
I forced a smile on my face and after handing out the replacement food and genuinely apologized for everything. Their delivery was over an hour late by this point after all. That’s not cool.
They told me it was fine and informed me that management had informed them of their refund. They then asked another question as I got my bags together. “Are you still being compensated for all of this?” I replied with a no, and informed them that because of the refund, I lose my tip as well.
Then the most amazing things happened.
The same woman replied “Well that’s not right!” and she dug through her purse and, before I could even say anything, stuffed a few bills in my hand. Then another woman did the same and another. Eventually there formed a line of people handing me cash. I didn’t know what to say.
I eventually gathered my wits about me and thanked them repeatedly. One replied “It’s not your fault things happen. You worked hared, you deserve the tip.”
All of this to say one thing. I know we all strive for big things in life, as we should, but the thing is though, sometimes we need regain perspective. I want to go change the world in my own way. I want to someday preform my music in front of tens, of thousands of people. I want to reach out to the people all over the world and give them hope. Someday I hope and pray I can, but it doesn’t start there.
First we need to start smaller. Be that giving your hurting co-worker some sympathy or tipping your delivery boy. Sometimes, the most important things, or even the things we need the most, come in bite-size packages. Packages that conveniently only have the grams of sugar per serving on the bag and not the candy.
(Photo credit: flickr.com)